No matter how big or small our backyard is, summer is the time when we want to enjoy it the most, together with our furry friends. But for our lawns to be beautiful, look vibrant, and lush, they need continuous maintenance. This may include using all sorts of yard chemicals, pesticides, and weed killers, which on the other hand, can be dangerously toxic for dogs’ health.
To turn your yard into a paradise both you and your dog can enjoy, it has to, above all, be safe. Read on to find out how long you should keep your dogs off the grass after using weed killers and other safety guidelines so you can indulge in these summer days both weed and worry-free.
Why are weed killers dangerous?
Most of the weed killers that you can buy on the market are packed with powerful chemicals. These chemicals are very efficient when it comes to extinguishing weed from your lawns, and they deliver fascinating results. While some can be considered safe for humans and pets, some can be highly toxic and can, in the long term, lead to numerous health problems, even with a fatal outcome.
Exposure to unsafe weed killers can make your dog vulnerable to various diseases, from nausea, diarrhea, dehydration, dermatitis, and breathing problems to bladder or thyroid cancers, resulting from prolonged exposure.
Some of the pesticide elements you should avoid, as they are highly hazardous to dogs, are:
- Diquat Dibromide,
- Methyl-4 Chlorophenoxyacetic Acid,
- Dimethylamine Salt and
If your dog has direct access to the product, acute poisoning can occur. Your dog can start to vomit, breathe heavily, and shiver. In these cases, it’s best to consult your veterinarian right away. Chronic diseases caused by herbicides may take years to manifest and are hard to diagnose.
Certain herbicides not only harm your dogs, but they can harm your grass as well. The type of weed killer you will use also depends on the landscape you live in.
For example, chemicals used in desert landscapes, such as Arizona, are often harmful to grass plants and can render your efforts to have a grass lawn nearly useless. So, if you live in the Valley of the Sun, consult a weed removal service in Phoenix to find out how to keep both your dogs healthy and your grass green.
To opt for the weed killer of your choice, always carefully read the labels and ensure they are safe.
How long should your dog stay off the grass?
Before you treat the grass in your backyard, remember that your pets will be breathing, walking, and playing on it. Some dogs like to eat grass, and most tend to lick their bellies and legs, which can come in direct contact with the chemical.
After you’ve sprayed a fresh layer of herbicide on your lawn, you should keep your pet off the area until the treatment has dried completely.
Usually, it takes about 48 hours for the grass and soil to absorb the chemical.
However, the drying time will depend on the climate, as well. If you have used the solution on a drizzly or humid day, it can take many days to dry thoroughly and be safe for your pets again.
There are a couple of preventive measures you can take to keep your dog from exposure to yard chemicals:
- Keep your dogs off from sprayed grass for two days or until it has been completely absorbed.
- Place the dog’s bowls and toys away from the grass area.
- If you assume that your dog came in contact with the treated grass, wash the belly and legs area.
- Avoid products that have carcinogenic chemicals in them.
- Choose dog-safe weed-killer products.
You can use alternative methods without worrying about their adverse effects on your furry companion’s health. However, they are not that effective, and except for hand removal, they are not selective.
- Removal by hand. If weeds plague your lawn, it might need a lot of work at first. Over time, as you remove weeds before they can bloom and seed, you will find that weed infestations diminish. Even though it may seem like hard labor to you, you will have your dog as a workout partner and a motivator.
- You can use boiling water or vinegar to clean areas of the plants you don’t need. These methods can be efficient, but they are not selective, as we’ve mentioned before — they will kill all affected plants.
- If you want to stop the unwanted weeds from growing, try sprinkling cornmeal, as it contains the chemical that prevents seeds from germinating.
- Large amounts of sugar or salt will make the soil unsuitable for growing plants.
To keep your dog safe when using weed killers, ensure you’re using products that are not harmful to animals and always carefully read the labels and instructions. Keep your dogs from the grass for 48 hours or until the soil completely dries.
Stephen Jones is a freelance writer and a new father. Becoming a father for the first time is not easy, but it is so much happiness that complicated things are handled best because the baby is the fruit of love, and he brings great satisfaction. Stephen enjoys writing about health, food, pets, and tips to keep your pets healthy. He can be reached on Facebook and Twitter.